Bless the architecture student who asked about designing buildings that
"work with the universe"! This is a favorite topic of mine.
Though I am no architect myself, I have an answer of sorts I wish to contribute.
I hope this student, and everyone else tired of suburban sprawl, strip
malls, McMansions and boxy apartments and houses, will find out about
* Michael Reynolds and his "Earthships" - http://www.earthship.org
using passive solar energy, minimal use of resources, and quite beautiful!
Plenty of work for architects to explore design variations, adapt these
to the needs of different people and all kinds of lots and neighborhoods,
and especially to bring the idea into visibility and show local officials
that they're okay. My fiancé told me about the time she saw an
Earthship so beautiful it brought tears to her eyes. Hearing rainfall
on the sloped window of one of the first few Earthships built, was one
of the most heavenly sounds I ever heard. There is something fresh, alive
and awakening in this type of structure, and they're quite hard-leaning
toward environmental friendliness.
* Christopher Alexander and his recent "The Nature of Order"
series of books. He is known for his famous "Pattern Language"
book and its ideas, but I wonder if many readers treat it as a mere formula
cook-book and don't really "get it" -but he really presents
his essential point clearly and with plentiful examples in the Nature
of Order. It is all about bringing the divine into form.
* Cob houses. No, not made out of corn-cobs! These are earthen structures
that you can make with your bare hands, sculpting into wonderful living
shapes. The book to read is "The Hand-Sculpted House" by Lanto
Evans, Michael G. Smith, and Linda Smiley. In our North American culture,
these are seemingly so new and fresh, innovative, yet are based on a very
old technology. Man, I have *GOT* to build myself one of these!
* Paolo Soleri and his gang in Arizona building Arcosanti - a bold attempt
to break away from the standard suburban/urban sprawl and all else that
is conventional and dreary, to make a better way of urban design that
Many, it seems, are those clinging to old energies, old ways, who scoff
at and try hard to ignore the above ideas. Even more are those who simply
have never heard of them! But i also see such great possibilities for
awakening the desire to work with the divine - when people can visit and
touch these kinds of buildings, not just read and see pictures.
How many people have commented on the wonderful Hobbit house in the first
Lord of the Rings movie! Everyone loves it! So who is now building their
own house like that? Hmmm?
BTW, I love to compare excellent things with examples that aren't quite
there - this clarifies understanding of key ideas. Like ear training for
a musician, one refines one's senses by experiencing a few "bad notes".
For bad architecture, I visit James Howard Kunstler's Eyesore of the Month
Having moved a lot, I've become aware of how what kind of box we live
in, and the structures in our neighborhood, affects our everyday thinking.
Putting some life, charm, and "green thinking" into our houses
and other building is such an important activity, which I believe many
people would be interested in but don't know where to start, I would like
to hear much more from Kryon on architecture!
Forgive me if this has gone on kinda long - but this is a topic I get
Question appears at:
Daren Scot Wilson